Don’t Like the Author’s Conclusion? Read the Other One.

[From the article “Reproducibility trial publishes two conclusions for one paper” by David Adam, published in Nature]
“How deeply an anaesthetist should sedate an elderly person when they have surgery is a controversial issue, because some studies link stronger doses of anaesthetic with earlier deaths. So it should reassure clinicians to see a study in the British Journal of Anaesthesia that investigates and rules out such a link…”
“Another paper in the journal analyses the same results and reaches a different conclusion about death rates. It says the trial didn’t include enough patients to reach that conclusion — or any conclusion — on mortality.”
“The opposing takes on the mortality link — a secondary conclusion of the study — are the result of an unusual peer-review experiment at the journal to tackle reproducibility of results in the field.”
“…for some papers, the British Journal of Anaesthesia is now asking an independent expert to write their own discussion of the study.”
“Unlike conventional peer reviewers, they look only at the methods and results sections and are blinded to the paper’s conclusions. The two discussions sections are published together, with similarities and differences highlighted.”
“At present, critiques of papers in the journal can appear weeks or months after publication, as guest editorials for example. By publishing the independent discussion at the same time as the peer-reviewed original, the journal hopes to accelerate the self-correcting nature of the literature.”
To read more, click here.

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